Love: new, old, found, lost, sad, funny, ironic, hopeless, hopeful.
In all its forms, this emotion has been explored in story and song probably as long as there have been humans around to experience and express it.
A small and talented group of singers did justice to the variety of ways love is expressed in song at the first of a series of Candlelight Cabaret productions staged Friday and Saturday in an intimate setting in downtown Seneca Falls.
Director Deb Bly, musical director and accompanist Annie Bachman, and a bunch of experienced songsters presented a wide range of songs dealing with love. “Love Stories” was a production in two acts performed in a 40-seat bistro occupying a storefront on Fall Street.
There were a few familiar standards such as “Bewitched” from the Broadway hit “Pal Joey” and the Rodgers & Hart classic “My Romance.” But most of the songs were from more recent and lesser-known shows, including the Tony Award-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” and others that may not ring any bells with listeners.
But they deserve to be heard, and if the piano accompaniment were toned down a bit more, they would be heard clearly. There wasn’t a weak voice in the bunch, and all of the performers knew how to enunciate and connect with their audience.
Some of the songs have lyrics that are laugh-out-loud funny — three selections from “(Sorta) Love Songs” (sic) were particularly good — and the performers played it to the hilt. Good acting, good singing: a winning combination.
This was kind of a family affair. Singer Wendy Varrichio-Fletcher and her son, Damon Fletcher, showed that musical ability can be genetic. And singer Madison Yearly is the granddaughter of director Bly.
Damon and Madison, both heading into their senior year at Mynderse Academy, were outstanding. They and Zachary Cornett, a recent college graduate, had strong, clear voices and great acting skills that they put to good use. Damon, by the way, plays varsity football at Mynderse, plays in the school band and jazz band and sings in several choral groups. Who says you can’t have it all?
Also outstanding every time he took the stage was veteran performer Chris Boulter, who has great presence, a solid and expressive voice, and a real gift for comedy and drama.
Others in the cast were Samantha Hockey and Stuart Sewell, who had fun with a very funny song, “Party Hat” that involved some delightful silliness toward the end of the show. An ensemble performance of “What I Did For Love” from “A Chorus Line” closed out the evening.
It was a good show, start to finish; and if this was any indication of things to come, the Seneca Community Players’ Candlelight Cabaret series should be a real winner.